Your credit score is one of the most important numbers of your life. If you have good credit, you have an easier time getting a loan, a job or a place to live. Without good credit, you may be stuck with substandard housing or transportation. What can you do to recover if your credit score has recently dropped?

Find Out Why the Drop Occurred

In some cases, an error on your credit report could be the reason why your score dropped. If someone has the same name as you do, information about that person could be put on your report by accident. Creditors may also report information that is inaccurate about your account balance or the status of a recent payment. If you believe that an error was made, don’t hesitate to contact both the creditor and the credit agency.

Try to Resolve Any Past Due Accounts

If you made a late payment or missed a payment, you should work with your creditors to mitigate the damage. It may be possible for a creditor to roll the payment back into your account or otherwise report your account as current. Assuming that the debt is less than 30 days past due, the creditor generally cannot report it as late or missed, so it is in your best interest to contact your creditor before then.

Apply for a Loan

Applying for a car loan allows you to start making payments that will be reported to the credit agencies. Making timely car loan payments will show lenders that you are worthy of getting additional credit or getting it at lower rates. After a year or two, you may find that your credit has gone up back to where it was before the drop or even higher. If your credit has dropped so far that you’re not sure you would be approved for a car loan, you might want to look into businesses like AutoStart and similar companies that specializing in providing auto loans to people with bad or no credit.

Lower Your Outstanding Debt Balances

Getting a credit card balance to less than 30 percent of your credit line can improve your score dramatically. Paying down your debts may also make it easier to make future payments in a timely manner, which will also help maintain a better score. Make sure not to cancel a credit card as your credit age is an important component of your score.

Poor credit can be a burden that can have an effect on all aspects of your life. The good news is that your score is always changing, which means that you can see tangible results from your efforts to improve it within months. That may help you get that car or house that you want sooner than you think.